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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul Says He's Returning $500K In Unused Operating Costs

Making a point about government spending, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky presented taxpayers from his state with a symbolic $500,000 "oversized check." Paul, who is the son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, said his office had saved more than 16 percent of its allotted operating budget last year, so he was giving it back to the Treasury.

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Technology
2:48 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Dashboard Distractions: New Luxuries Cause Concern

In many ways, the Detroit Auto Show has become a kind of consumer electronics show for cars, where you're just as likely to see the rollout of a new app or entertainment system as the introduction of next year's models.

"The growth in mechanical changes [has] now become incremental, whereas the growth in the consumer electronics industry seems to be taking place at a rate that is almost unprecedented," says Thomas Tetzlaff, a spokesman for Volkswagen Canada.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:46 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Woman Injects 'Bath Salts,' Loses Arm To Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Stimulant chemicals dubbed "bath salts" are increasingly injected for a high.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 4:04 pm

Using illicit drugs can cause lots of bad things to happen. But being attacked by flesh-eating bacteria usually isn't one of them.

Yet that's what happened to an unfortunate young woman who had injected the increasingly popular stimulant drug called "bath salts."

The 34-year-old woman showed up at a New Orleans hospital with a painful, swollen arm after she attended a party. She had a small red puncture mark on her forearm.

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Around the Nation
2:38 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

When Pardons Become Political Dynamite

Gov. Haley Barbour said in a statement that his decision to grant clemency was based upon the recommendation of the Mississippi's Parole Board in more than 90 percent of the cases.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

The power of the pardon can redress an overly harsh sentence or a wrongful conviction. It can also prove to be a political landmine.

Exhibit A: Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's sweeping 11th-hour orders granting clemency to more than 200 people, ranging from convicted murderers to the brother of NFL great Brett Favre, who had his record cleared in connection with a 1997 conviction on manslaughter charges.

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Europe
2:15 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Russian Activists Turn To Social Media

Relying on social media, Russian activists are attempting to organize more mass rallies against the Russian government. Here, protesters staged a huge rally in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2011, alleging vote rigging in parliamentary polls.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 7:55 pm

Russia's largest anti-government demonstrations since the Soviet breakup of 1991 are being organized and driven by a force that didn't exist two decades ago — social media.

In recent years, protests have been relatively rare, and Russians who got their news from state-run television essentially saw one narrative — one that relentlessly extolled the virtues of the country's leaders, particularly Vladimir Putin.

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